Minority Business Ownership: Data from the 2012 Survey of Business Owners


The U.S. minority population has grown rapidly. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 37% of the U.S. population identifies as part of at least one minority class. The populations of five states, including the two largest, California and Texas, are now over 50% minorities. Many other states, counties, and cities are approaching this threshold, thus understanding minority business ownership is increasingly important.

Nationwide, 29% of businesses are majority-owned by minorities, and this share is quickly increasing. The recently released 2012 Survey of Business Owners (SBO) provides a unique opportunity to examine how specific minority groups are performing in the economy as a whole, the disparities they face in sales and employment, and the business characteristics that distinguish them.

Topline Statistics

Minority-owned businesses form a significant portion of the U.S. economy. In 2012, 8.0 million minority-owned businesses contributed $1.38 trillion in revenue and 7.2 million jobs to the economy. Their importance was also emphasized during the recent economic recession when minority-owned businesses were an important source of business growth. From 2007 to 2012, the five years enveloping the economic recession, a net 2 million minority-owned businesses were created, while a net 1 million nonminority-owned businesses closed. During that time, minorities increased their share of overall business ownership from 22% to 29%. Further minority-owned businesses represented an additional $335 billion in sales and 1.35 million in employment.

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